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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My husband is an alcoholic. (It's actually very good for me to write that sentence out...)

This is my second marriage. We've been married for 11 years and it took me one heck of a long time to figure it out, then admit it. I've read books about alcoholism, seen counselors to get professional advise/information and have been to a few alanon meetings. Church - I finally deduced the only way out of this is through some higher power. Prayer. If even for myself.

What I'd like to talk about is what's happened to his personality. He has become the 'victim", in his own mind. He didn't used to be this way. It's permeated his thinking. He seems to twist everything into why it's a reason to hate the world or why he shouldn't try. And talk about negativity....all he seems to do now is complain, about everything, all day, every day.
We're seperated now, thank God because I can't take this negative mentality where someone keeps saying how bad the world sucks....!
I believe I'm at a cross roads of realizing if and when I'm around him, it's going to be a real drag. And I can't emotionally take it anymore. Nor do I wish to.

All the books I've read and all the people I've talked with have told me the same things - there's nothing I can do ( he has to want to do it), it's only going to get worse (left untreated) and there seems to be a path we're on where I'm watching us slowly but surely lose things. His symptoms are following what the professionals have laid out for me. He's just lost his job. Due to his behavior.

I know depression is a part of alcoholism, as is losing one's job. I honestly don't know the line right now between trying to encourage him (as yet to no positive avail) and leaving him alone to face it or fall. Which frankly, I will lose eveything when he does fall.

This is almost a spiritual/moral dilemma for me. Something along the lines of - what would you do for someone you truely loved? Or what kind of person am I that I wouldn't offer positive suggestions and possible solutions? What kind of woman/wife am I to give up?

My last hope was that we would sit down and come up with a plan of attack regarding his job search. He seems to not be interested. Do I let it alone? Maybe it's time to face what comes next? How does one stand and let/watch someone they adored...basically go down the drain and die? I know it's his "choice" but really it's not. He's ill. Very ill.

I find this disease to be quite sad, terribly slow and the denial, initially from myself, and now him and all of his family...well it feels like I'm in some kind of otherworld that makes no sense whatsoever.
 

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it is defo gonna be hard for you. but if you truely love that man then you stay right by his side. he is going thru something he expects noone to understand. he will come round. life is too short. i suffered with depression bad and i chose to face it alone and got up every morning and looked in the mirror and told myself i was fine and nothing could beat me. i ended up making a succesful career for myself. please stand by your man and he will pull thru. good luck
 

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I am a similar situation. My husband of 21 years is an alcoholic. We have been separated for 9 months. In the beginning I wanted to give up on him and our marriage. With the help of a friend I started attending al anon. It has helped me focusing myself and take care of me not worrying about my husbands alcohol addiction. We have also been going to marriage counseling. My behavior change has helped my husband. He has realized that he has a problem and is working on it. Where I thought there was no hope there is. I tried 3 different al anon groups until I found one I fit in. I recommend it. I agree a higher power also helps.
 

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My suggestion is to stay in alanon. I'm sure you are aware that you can't fix or help him but you can work on yourself. If you choose to stay with him, you will need all the support and help you can get. You may need that even if you choose not to stay. People usually do not change their behavior unless consequences, boundaries and accountability is put on the shoulders of the one addicted. If after all you feel you have done, by enforcing those 3 things, you will decide if you need to walk or stay. SOMETIMES staying is all the addicted person needs to NOT try to get help.
 

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Ask him if he is an alcoholic. If he says yes, ask him if he wants to change this lifestyle. If he says yes, give him the support he needs. It sounds a bit like he is beating himself up emotionally for not being able to be a provider for his family. I'm not condoning his behavior by any means. Was his drinking as bad when he felt he was providing for his family? The economy has really beat down a lot of people. The key is to see if he is aware of the issue which has drained you. Ask if he will attend AA meetings and seek additional help. It's an olive branch but it is a start. If he addresses the issue and takes action, he sounds like he can return to the man you fell in love with. I can see you really love this man, so pray and communicate. If he admits there is an issue, half the battle is won. A marriage of 10+ years is a lot to walk away from without digging in and letting him know you are there for him.....maybe that is all he needs. Is he spiritual? It sounds like he was once the man you were deeply in love with. That person is still there, he just needs to seek help, from you, professionals, and AA or some support group if he chooses to address the problem. Everything really lies in if he is aware and admits there is a problem with alcohol. That is the key. Keep us posted!!!
 

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I did not mean to go at your post for advice one-sided at all but I knew of four marriages that were on the brink, as yours is. The three who admitted to their problem and sought help...saved their marriage.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love is forgiving. Love is the greatest gift in the world and costs nothing. But humans seem to forget that at times. My apologies for ranting.
 

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Continue on with Alanon, you need all the support you can get. People with addictions, suffer as well as those who are on the receiving end of the addicts behavior. Sometimes i think the people on the receiving end suffer the worst. Thats why its important for you to have support. Take care of YOU, its all you can do right now. He will need to take care of himself, if he chooses not to, thats on him.
 

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My husband is a recovering alcoholic and been in AA for about 4 yrs now. It took me giving out consequences for his actions to get him to see the light. I'm not saying that will work on everyone, but it sure is a good place to start. If people do not feel they have nothing to lose, then they surely wont even begin to try.
 

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valueadded-I ran across your old post. How are things going with your H and the issue? I hope things are heading in the right direction.
 

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Things are going better. We are still separated but are getting along much better. I have taken care of myself and he has stopped drinking. We are taking it one day at a time and are both much happier. Al anon has helped me a lot
 

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Just want to say that he probably is depressed but the depression cannot be successfully treated until he stops drinking. 2 psychiatrists have told me that.

If you want to help him, start with the giving up the alcohol.

I've also been told that simply by living with an alcoholic is a form of enabling which surprised me but makes sense because non-alcoholics don't really want to be around sloppy drunks and/or people who drink too much so they leave.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My husband is a recovering alcoholic and been in AA for about 4 yrs now. It took me giving out consequences for his actions to get him to see the light. I'm not saying that will work on everyone, but it sure is a good place to start. If people do not feel they have nothing to lose, then they surely wont even begin to try.
Can I ask, specifically what were the consequences?
I feel I don't have much left to "consequence". Or maybe I should say, I've laid out my boundries and it seems to have no effect on him.
Most recent - (and there's so many of these) 2 days ago, he had a golf outting where the drinking got out of control (again) (he's 51, we're seperated) and from a phone call I deduced he was drunk and I said you've had too much to drink, you're playing the victim again, I'll talk to you tomorrow and I hung up the phone...I mean. There's not much I say or do that makes any difference. Unless I should be saying or doing something differently?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
To Chuck71 - I have, of course, had many conversations about his drinking. If I say, I believe you're an alcoholic, he says, yes I am, but I can cut down on the drinking. He thinks he has it under control. I also believe he drinks far more than he admits to - or he defines "drinking" as more than a few as opposed to under a few.

The conversations are very tense, he's totally defensive and can't hear my fear and concern. It must be denial I'm seeing. The conversations feel strange, as if they dont go as one would expect. Somehow it turns into where I am left feeling like I'm wrong , that I'm picking on him or that I have too many rules or something. It's very strange to go through because I honestly try to voice my concern in an adult manner...

I understand the "consequences" thing - but at what point do I stop being the "parent", the "warden"? Like dude, take care of your life, will ya? (but he can't!- see what I'm saying here?)
For an update, he's been unemployed for a month and hasn't started looking yet....

We're already seperated because of this, he's lost his job, still drinks most everyday, spends his time with other heavy drinkers who have the worst attitudes and believe it or not 1/2 of them are unemployed - This is crazy! I feel like I can see what's coming next and I want to stop it, if I can. Maybe I can't?
 

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Can I ask, specifically what were the consequences?
I feel I don't have much left to "consequence". Or maybe I should say, I've laid out my boundries and it seems to have no effect on him.
Most recent - (and there's so many of these) 2 days ago, he had a golf outting where the drinking got out of control (again) (he's 51, we're seperated) and from a phone call I deduced he was drunk and I said you've had too much to drink, you're playing the victim again, I'll talk to you tomorrow and I hung up the phone...I mean. There's not much I say or do that makes any difference. Unless I should be saying or doing something differently?
I had to call the police, That was one consequence. Something I had never done before. I reached my breaking point when he decided to yank the home phone out of the wall when I was on it. I had kids in the bed, and I didn't know what I might be up against since he wasn't in the best frame of mind. I called from my cell he took that from me, but the call had already gone through and the police showed up. I had to do what I thought was best for me and my children at that time.

The next day my folks came over and did like a little intervention. My next boundary/consequence was, it was up to him to get help, if he chose not to, that was it for us and I was done and me and the kids would be gone. I was tired and something had to give.

Talking doesn't do much for a drug addict or/alcoholic, action works best, and no that doesn't always work either, but sometimes you have to give it a try.
 

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It all comes down to "family or the bottle". Family will be there when you are at the bottom of the rope, the bottle....is what got you to the bottom of the rope.
 

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We're already seperated because of this, he's lost his job, still drinks most everyday, spends his time with other heavy drinkers who have the worst attitudes and believe it or not 1/2 of them are unemployed - This is crazy! I feel like I can see what's coming next and I want to stop it, if I can. Maybe I can't?
Until you figure out that nothing you say or do is going to have an affect on him, that it is up to HIM to change, you are doing the equivalent of pulling your hair out or banging your head against the wall. :banghead:

You need to move on emotionally and live your own life without him. Nothing is going to change on his end. It is up to you take care of yourself at this point.

It does get better, but staying with him in the hopes that he'll change won't make it better. Yes, you've separated physically but the hardest part is the emotional separation. You need to work on that. Only then will you be free.

What becomes of him is truly up to him but don't waste the next 11 years of your life.

BTW, I'm 2 years separated from an alcoholic husband and only within the past year or so can I truly say things have gotten better for me. For my husband it's the same. He still drinks and doesn't work.

It's the same cycle over and over:

Drink>Get sick>Get hospitalized>Detox and Rehab>Live sober for a few months and function normally>Start drinking again

Nothing you do or say changes it. It's all on him. All you can do is look to yourself.
 
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